1 John 4:1-6

On Denying the Incarnation

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

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1 John 4:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
ESV
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
NLT
1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
MSG
1 My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.
CSB
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:1-6 In-Context

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Cross References 15

  • 1. S 1 Corinthians 10:14
  • 2. Jeremiah 29:8; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:2
  • 3. S Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:18
  • 4. S John 1:14; 1 John 2:23
  • 5. 1 Corinthians 12:3
  • 6. 1 John 2:22; 2 John 7
  • 7. 1 John 2:18
  • 8. S 1 John 2:1
  • 9. S John 16:33
  • 10. Romans 8:31
  • 11. 2 Kings 6:16; S John 12:31
  • 12. John 15:19; John 17:14,16
  • 13. John 8:47
  • 14. S John 14:17
  • 15. S Mark 13:5

Footnotes 1

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